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Thousands of Filipino wage earners in this country are being discriminated against because of the growing trend of thought that the Filipinos ever since the passage of that law are no longer American subjects.

Last year Congress passed what is known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, and among other things contained therein, was that particular provision in section 302, requiring that only citizens of the United States shall be permitted to serve in merchant marine and fishing vessels of the United States, except the small quota allowed to aliens.

This same provision and this same law which placed the Filipinos in the category of aliens, insofar as serving is concerned is today the very act which this committee proposes to revise. I am therefore, presenting to this committee the bare facts surrounding the unfortunate plight of Filipino seamen from the time the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 became operative and section 302 of said law took effect.

Gentlemen of the committee, the history of Filipino seamen who have helped man the United States merchant marine and fishing vessels dates back as early as 1901. Many Filipinos who since that time became eligible for service in the Unitde States Navy, upon their discharge found employment in American merchant marine and were in most cases assigned to the stewards' departments. But even earlier than 1901, in fact as early as the seventeenth century, during the Spanish galleon trade with Mexico, Filipino seamen were recruited to man and serve in Spanish vessels. Many of those seamen migrated to the coast towns bordering the Gulf of Mexico and many finally settled in what is now known to be the State of Louisiana on or about 1823.

They were a hardy lot, these Filipino seamen of that century but even hardier still were the Filipino seamen who came year after year since Admiral Dewey conquered the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay, Hundreds of these Filipino seamen, after they have been acclimated with things American have chosen this country as their home. Hundreds of them today have no thoughts whatsoever of returning back to the land of their birth, no matter what final disposition may be reached regarding American-Filipino relations.

Almost all of the approximately 3,000 Filipino seamen who are today unemployed came at a time when the American shipping industry accepted Filipinos on the same level with American citizens. All of them, without exception, came before the passage of the Philippine independence law. Almost 95 percent of them had lived in the United States for at least 5 years. Many of them have lived in this country for a great number of years and have so established themselves in many communities where employment in their trade is available. About 20 percent of these Filipino seamen are today married to American-born women. Many of their children who are in law American citizens are either in schools or gainfully employed. The sons oftentimes followed the vocation of their fathers. These Filipino families have, therefore, become a fixed part of American community life. Like their fathers, they are loyal American subjects and citizens, and as a whole a thoroughly law-abiding group.

I ask you, gentlemen of the committee, to look at their unfortunate plight from all angles, from a purely legal standpoint, from a purely constitutional point of view, from the accepted or natural point of view and also from a very humane point of view.

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I ask you, gentlemen of the committee, to look at the Filipino seamen's problems just as you would expect others to look at it, if your own seamen were placed in the same position. I am sure that if your seamen were placed in that unfortunate position the Filipinos are today confronted with, you would make an even more passionate appeal for the favorable treatment of their conditions. I dare say that you will demand that a speedy consideration of your seamen's problems be made.

I am not here, however, gentlemen of the committee, to demand of you and of Congress that you correct the anomalous position of our Filipino seamen. I prefer to ask you to give my people what you in justice would ask others to give your own people if placed in the same unhappy position.

It is possible that while you are patiently listening to me, some of you may be asking yourselves this question: Why should I give the Filipinos the privilege that only American citizens have a right to enjoy? Perhaps you would further say to yourselves that since the Filipinos wanted to be entirely divorced from the United States, they—the Filipinos—should be made to take the responsibility and the consequences of their acts. In other words, you might say to yourselves, “The Filipinos cannot have their cake and eat it too."

To the first question, gentlemen of the committee, as to why you should especially be asked individually and collectively to grant the Filipino seamen the privilege to serve in American subsidized vessels, permit me to say to you: You are individually and collectively asked to bestow that grant to the Filipino seamen because they are in law and in all humane considerations your subjects and your wards. The Filipino seamen, just as everyone of their race, whether residing in the United Statės or in the Philippine Islands, are still American subjects and must remain so until the final grant of complete independence is given by Congress. They owe allegiance to the United States. In fact they owe allegiance to no other country than this country

Now I ask you, gentlemen of the committee, if it is a good law, that which deprives a subject from enjoying the rights and privileges of a subject, or is it a wise law, that which discriminates against a race who owes complete allegiance to no other flag than the American flag? Or is it a just law, that which deprives a man from the enjoyment of the pleasures and blessings of a democracy to which he has become a part?

I am sure, gentlemen of the committee, that had you known that section 302 of the Merchant Marine Act would operate arbitrarily against your very own subjects, you would not have sanctioned the passage of that act without adequate legal and humane provisions for the welfare of your subjects.

It is quite true that one cannot “have his cake and eat it too." But you must remember, gentlemen of the committee, that the Filipinos in this case are not permitted to eat their cake at one sitting, Rather, you and Congress imposed upon them that the eating should be gradual and should be done within the extended period of 10 years. The Filipinos, therefore, in this case become an exception to the rule. They can have their cake and eat it too.

The fairness of the American people and of Congress in its dealings with subjects, with friendly as well as enemy nations, made this country the most outstanding Nation of the world today. To this

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country, the persecuted and the downtrodden nationals of European countries have sought haven and they have found in your midst a fair welcome upon their arrival. You have welcomed them and greeted them cordially even if they had been, at sometime past, your mortal enemies. You have welcomed and assisted people who before or even after their landing on American soil are still loyal subjects of their respective countries. Your fairness, therefore, with your former enemies further convinces me that you will be more than fair in your treatment of your own subjects.

With that sense of humility and with genuine feeling of thankfulness that the Filipinos are subjects of your flag, I ask you, gentlemen of the committee, to grant to the Filipino seamen the privilege of serving in American merchant marine and fishing vessels as citizens of the United States at least until the final termination of your stewardship over the Philippines is ended, by inserting in the proposed bill now under your consideration, S. 3078, immediately at the end of section 301, page 5, after line 22, the following amendment to section 302 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as follows:

Sec. 7. Section 302 of such Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

“(1) Notwithstanding any provisions of this or any other Act to the contrary, any citizen of the Philippine Islands who was lawfully admitted to the United States prior to the 1st day of May 1934, and who has served upon any merchant or fishing vessels of the United States, shall be deemed a citizen of the United States for the purpose of serving, and shall be eligible to serve, on board any passenger, cargo, or fishing vessel of the United States during the period ending with the complete relinquishment of sovereignty over the Philippine Islands by the United States."

All I wanted to ask is this, and it will take only 2 or 3 minutes

The CHAIRMAN. As I understand it, a Filipino can go on one of our transports if he enlists in the Philippines, and can come to the Pacific coast, but he cannot go back on the next trip of that transport?

Dr. Gancy. It all depends on how he came over. If he was signed up as a seaman on the transport, he can go back.

The CHAIRMAN. That is, he can make the round trip on the transport?

Dr. GANCY. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. But if he came over here and then left the transport and at some later time be wanted to reenlist and go the other way, he could not do it?

Dr. GANCY. That is right.

All I want to ask of you gentlemen of the committee, outside of the privilege of inserting my short brief in the record, is this: That in the consideration of the Merchant Marine Act you will remember that approximately 3,000 Filipino seamen have served loyally the American merchant marine and the American shipping industry. Now, because of the passage of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act and because of the inclusion in that particular act of a section requiring that such men are ineligible to serve because they are not, in the common acceptation of the term, American citizens. They were discriminated against, because of oversight, possibly, or because of failure, as I said, of some of our leaders now here in Congress and in the Philippines to take an interest in behalf of our people here. They were so busy about independence that they have neglected the social and economic questions involved.

I am submitting to this committee an amendment to section 302 permitting Filipinos to serve in the American merchant marine vessels, at least during the transition period, because I do not see any justice, gentlemen, in having a group of people that are subject to the call to arms, subject to all your laws, and owing complete allegiance to the United States--we owe no complete allegiance to any other country; this is the only country, really, that we owe allegiance toand during the next 10 years, at least, if, unfortunately, the United States grants the Philippines the freedom they have so long lobbied for—I say, I do not see any justice in excluding these people from the provisions of the bill.

I say that in fairness to the people who have been here and been a part of your merchant marine, who really are good stewards and good independent boys. I think many of you have been served by them. Many of you Senators have been waited upon by Filipinos, and I think you have found them very, very loyal. I do not know of any other people who would be as good an addition to the American mercbant crews as the Filipinos, because they are really loyal and grateful to the people of the United States.

Our country is not much of a country to speak of when it comes to a show-down in an international crisis with complications such as we have now. I think every Filipino will be very willing to give to the United States what they have sworn to give, unqualified and undivided allegiance.

You would not expect all of them to have unqualified allegiance if you take away from them the very privilege that as subjects they are entitled to. We cannot vote here because we are not permitted by the law to vote. But we at least must be given, in justice and equity, some privilege to serve in the American merchant marine vessels without being classed as aliens, because it hurts. It is not only a matter of employment; it is a matter of principle. We are classed as aliens, but we are not aliens.

Those are questions, gentlemen of the committee, that submit to you. Whether or not you are in favor of Filipino independence, whether or not you believe that Filipinos are capable of governing themselves, the question still remains that during the transition period, as fixed by the law, in the 8 remaining years, you have still some moral and political obligation to these people in the United States, who came here previous to the passage of the law and are entitled to the privileges they have enjoyed before the passage of the law. So I ask that the committee consider an adequate provision, and

Senator ELLENDER (interposing). Before you read your amendment-you are familiar with the bill that I introduced?

Dr. GANCY. I am, Senator.

Senator ELLENDER. How does your bill compare with the one I introduced ?

Dr. Gancy. There are certain differences. It is practically a copy of your bill, Senator. The only thing that I have stricken out in the bill is the provision that the Filipinos must show their intention to remain in this country.

Senator ELLENDER. Yours provides that they can remain forever?

Dr. GANCY. It does not have that particular proviso. It provides that they show their intention to remain. The Labor Department have questioned it already and said, “How can you show your intention to remain?” We never made any declaration when we came here. We came as free agents. We did not declare ourselves to have to come here to remain. Of course under the quota basis now for aliens to which the Filipinos are subjected we have to make our intentions clear.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course the Filipinos can serve in the steward's department on passenger ships, and they can serve on nonsubsidized ships in any capacity.

Dr. Gancy. That is right.

The Chairman. So the Filipinos are deprived of serving on subsidized vessels?

Dr. Gancy. That is right. The matter that is involved, Senator Copeland, is much deeper than the question of employment. It is a question of principle, that if the American subsidized vessels refuse to admit Filipinos, it follows, therefore, that the other nonsubsidized boats will also take the same view.

The CHAIRMAN. I see. We will bear that in mind. Did you put your amendment in the record ? Dr. GANCY. Yes, sir; it is incorporated in the record. I thank

I you for the kindness you have shown me.

(The witness withdrew from the committee table.)



The CHAIRMAN. You are from the Labor's Non-Partisan League?
Mr. OLIVER. That is right, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you give your name for the record?

Mr. OLIVER. My initials are E. L. Oliver, vice president of Labor's Non-Partisan League. I have been for the last 15 years intermittently and for the last 10 years exclusively, engaged in the handling of labor disputes, labor activities, under the Railway Labor Act; that is to say, under the Transportation Act of 1920, under the act of 1926 and the act as amended in 1934.

The CHAIRMAN. You were acting there officially?
Mr. OLIVER. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. But your present organization is nongovernmental; is that right?

Mr. OLIVER. Yes, sir. Labor's Non-Partisan League is a political organization composed of individuals and, for the most part, labor organizations, although there are farm and other organizations with similar objective affiliated with the league. It is a national organization with branches in each of the 48 States of the Union, and with city and county branches and branches organized in congressional districts.

The CHAIRMAN. Where is your office here?
Mr. OLIVER. In the Willard Hotel, room 201.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you going to tell us something about this bill?

Mr. OLIVER. I will comment on it from two standpoints: First, from the general standpoint of its applicability to the maritime industry; and second, with respect to its specific provisions.

The Chairman. You are speaking, particularly of title X, the labor section?

Mr. OLIVER. Yes.

The Chairman. And it is to that you are addressing yourself specifically?

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